Policy choices in an era of intangibles- where to start? - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Policy choices in an era of intangibles- where to start?

Rohinton P. Medhora

June, 2019


O3. Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights

Based on the author’s keynote talk at the ERF’s 25th anniversary conference in Kuwait City (March 10-12, 2019), this paper outlines the research and policy dimensions of the fast-rising intangibles economy. The key features of such economic structures are – the centrality of (mostly proprietary) intellectual property; high upfront costs for firms but near-zero marginal costs of production if successful; first-mover advantage especially if backed up by standard-setting; and handsome rewards for strategic behavior. There is no single route to success in such a world; in fact many successful countries have had ex ante daunting challenges not unknown among ERF countries. The ethos that drives the ERF has never been more essential than it is today.


Rohinton P. Medhora

President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)



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